Three second half goals propelled Valparaiso to a 3-0 win over Oakland on Sunday afternoon as the Crusaders wrapped up exhibition play at Eastgate Field.
Luisa Desario (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett H.S.) broke the scoreless draw just over 10 minutes into the second half, firing a blast from 20 yards out at the top of the box, and beating Oakland goalkeeper Melissa MacKinnon.
Less than six minutes later, Catherine Terrell (Brighton, Mich./Brighton H.S.) found the back of the goal from 15 yards out on the right side of the box to make it 2-0 Crusaders. Terrell’s goal was set up by a corner kick from Amanda Ulin (Solon, Iowa/Solon H.S.), one of seven corners earned by Valpo on the afternoon.
Valpo added a late insurance goal with just 50 second remaining in the match as freshman Katie Gratzianna (Elmhurst, Ill./York H.S.) took a feed from Rachel Hoaglin (Lakeville, Minn./Academy of Holy Angels H.S.) on the right side and beat MacKinnon.
“All week we focused on our attack to get us prepared for the season,” head coach John Marovich said. “It was good to see us score goals as a result of that.”
The two sides battled to a scoreless first half, but Valpo had several opportunities just graze the outside of the goal in the opening 45 minutes. The Crusaders held a 6-2 advantage in shots heading into intermission, and increased the total to 15-8 for the match.
Kristen Manski (Saint Charles, Ill./North H.S.) made three saves in goal for the Crusaders, earning her second shutout of the preseason. MacKinnon, who played the second half, made the only two saves of the afternoon for the Golden Grizzlies.
“I was happy with what our defense was doing,” Marovich added. “We kept our shape and stayed organized. Our back four has done a solid job.”
Valparaiso will open the 2010 regular season on Saturday evening with a 7 p.m. match against UMKC in Kansas City, Mo.